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Category: Issue 3 2022

Issue 3/2022: The Pain of War

Now available. Issue 3/2022 of New Eastern Europe. The Pain of war. Testimonies of aggression and resistance. A special edition dedicated to telling the stories from Ukraine at a time of war.

April 25, 2022 - New Eastern Europe

Time to look into the mirror

The argument that NATO provoked Russia is an obvious example of Moscow’s narrative being regurgitated in mainstream western media. The truth is, however, that we did not take enough action. This is what ultimately encouraged Putin to act in such a brutal manner.

April 25, 2022 - New Eastern Europe

War diaries from Kyiv

Since the start of the war, journalist Andrey Kirillov found himself in Kyiv. He began documenting his daily experiences through his war diaries. We publish several excerpts from his diary here.

Day one
The editorial office where I am now writing this is located in a residential building. The grocery store in this building is the only one in the whole block that is open today. This is a luxurious district that used to be noisy, with crowds of citizens, young people and tourists walking around. Now, these streets are nearly deserted. Expensive clothes shops, restaurants, coffee shops and barbershops are all closed. But what is important are the people who have gathered around that open store. It is in the basement of the residential building. An old man is sleeping in the corner. Children are riding about on office chairs. Their mothers are having tea that they pour into cups. Fathers are smoking at the entrance. All of them are using this space as a bomb shelter.

April 25, 2022 - Andrey Kirillov

#UkraineUnderFire: A war diary

Imke Hansen is an international peace worker at the Sievierodonetsk field office of the Ukrainian NGO Vostok SOS. Together with her colleague Maksim, she has established a trauma-informed training system for war-affected people in the Luhansk region. She has shared her diary of the first weeks with us.

February 17th 2022
In the morning, the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska was shelled. When Maksim told me, it felt like a punch in the gut. During the past two days, we had breathed a little sigh of relief; the diplomatic appeasements to Russia seemed to be working. Today's sudden shelling along the entire frontline exposed this as an illusion, as Russian disinformation policy. At noon, a school director called to request psychological help for the younger schoolchildren. There had been shelling there as well. In the past weeks, we already expected something to come.

April 25, 2022 - Imke Hansen

New habits of wartime: A view from the rear

It has been scientifically proven that 21 days are needed to form and strengthen a new habit. Unfortunately, Russia’s war against Ukraine has been going on long enough to force Ukrainians to adopt new habits. What are these habits and how do Ukrainians live in the relatively safe regions in the rear of the fighting?

Are Ukrainians used to the fact that there is a war in their state? How can one get used to war? Is it like going through all the stages of the Kübler-Ross model of grief, from denial through to anger, bargaining, depression and finally to acceptance? Actually, no. Every day, it is difficult to immediately know what the date or day of the week is without thinking. But we do know what day of the war it is exactly. Early in the morning of February 24th, a completely new calendar and way to tell time began for Ukrainians.

April 25, 2022 - Maria Protsiuk

Putin’s biggest mistake

I left behind the city I was born in, where I learnt to ride a bike and ice skate, where I finished school and where I had my first kiss. There, I also left my ambitions, my plans and a part of my soul.

I did not believe that this war would take place up until the very last moment. All arguments, expert opinions and pure logic had convinced me that it would not reach Kyiv. Yet, it did. It destroyed my life on February 24th at five o’clock in the morning. The worst part was the first phone call I received about half an hour later. It was my dad, who only said, “Pack up your stuff”. This meant that everything that was written in the media was real. It was not a dream, not a fantasy but my life here and now. This was my life, with Russian rockets that were destroying not only the nearby airport but also my future.

April 25, 2022 - Zoriana Varenia

The news of the invasion was like a bomb

A conversation with Pedro Caldeira Rodrigues, Portuguese journalist. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

IWONA REICHARDT: You went to Kyiv to do reporting for the Portuguese Press Agency LUSA just a few days before the war started. Can you tell me what was your assessment of the situation then? Did you have a sense that such a large invasion was about to take place?

PEDRO CALDEIRA RODRIGUES: None of the people I interviewed right before the war, including commentators and analysts, believed that there would be a large invasion of Ukraine. Some indeed said that the Russian troops could start a small operation in Donbas aimed at achieving the recognition of the separatist republics, but nobody expected what we are seeing right now. As you know, this was not my first visit to Ukraine.

April 25, 2022 - Iwona Reichardt Pedro Caldeira Rodrigues

Waiting for Fortinbras

A conversation with Oksana Zabuzhko, a Ukrainian writer and intellectual. Interviewer: Adam Balcer

ADAM BALCER: We are speaking in Warsaw after the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. This attack is in fact an escalation of a conflict that has been going on for the last eight years now. After the outbreak of a war we often hear questions as to whether or not it could have been prevented. Could we have stopped the aggressor in this case?

OKSANA ZABUZHKO: When it comes to Russia and its aggressive policy towards Ukraine I have been asking this question not for the last eight years but much longer. Back in the 1990s, I was an optimist and I was convinced that the world was going in the right direction. Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the “end of history” and the West had won the Cold War. It was believed that from now on we would only be getting richer and live in prosperity.

April 25, 2022 - Adam Balcer Oksana Zabuzhko

Ukrainian territorial defence: how regular city dwellers will vanquish the fierce Russian bear

A conversation with Roman and Iryna, officers of the territorial defence in Kyiv. Interviewer: Andrii Horobchuk

Territorial defence units have played a big role in repelling the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The units, made up of volunteer local residents and led by military professionals, regularly confront Russian troops. They are very successful at this. They neutralise Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups, destroy Russian infantry units and seize and blow up Russian tanks and artillery.

April 25, 2022 - Andrii Horobchuk

The soft power of Ukrainian women will defeat Mordor

A conversation with Iryna, a territorial defence officer, and Natalya, a civil volunteer. Interviewer: Andrii Horobchuk

ANDRII HOROBCHUK: What motivates women to join the territorial defence? How different are their motivations from men?

IRYNA: In fact, there are many kinds of women. First and foremost, there are female civil volunteers. For example, those who do not have children or have taken their children out of Kyiv but remain here themselves. And they just cannot sit at home. A woman generally needs to take care of someone and keep herself busy. This is the way her psyche works. And that is why there are a lot of women who just come of their own free will and do things to take care of the fighters.

April 25, 2022 - Andrii Horobchuk

Putin’s fascism

Russia’s political system, officially known as “sovereign democracy” (suverennaia demokratiia), is nothing but a dictatorship along the lines of Lenin and Stalin’s democratic centralism. After all, the main goal is to re-establish a new Russian empire with Putin on the throne. Imperialism is this “new-old” ideology’s proper name.

During the past decade, the term “fascism” has become ubiquitous in Russia’s public discourse. The more that freedom of expression and freedom of the press have been curbed, the more the word “Nazism” has appeared in the country. The preferred form of both terms is that of a slur, namely “fascists” (fashisty) and “Nazis” (natsisty). In the West, this phenomenon has been largely disregarded as a peculiarity of the political language in present-day Russia. Arguably, it appeared to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. On February 24th, however, in a totally unprovoked move, the Russian president ordered his armies to invade peaceful Ukraine officially to “denazify” the country. A day later, he gave a bizarre speech in which he denigrated the Ukrainian government as a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”.

April 25, 2022 - Tomasz Kamusella

The devastating long-term effects of sanctions against Russia

Vladimir Putin and his criminal war in Ukraine have returned the Russian economy back to the dark days of the early 1990s, with spiralling inflation, winding queues in front of banks and shops, stringent financial controls and a new wave of skilled Russian emigrants flowing out of the country. This crisis is only likely to get worse as Russia turns into a pariah state unpalatable for the world’s most technologically-advanced nations and enterprises.

As Vladimir Putin launched his brutal invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, a US-led coalition of like-minded governments launched their own economic barrage of sanctions against the Russian state, its largest companies and some of its most prominent individuals. The sanctions have focused on crippling Russia’s finances and its ability to pay for the war in Ukraine, as well as severing its military-industrial complex from strategic components. They have put a prohibitive lock on key Russian economic sectors like high-tech, energy and tradeables.

April 25, 2022 - Kiril Kossev

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Agencja interaktywna: hauerpower krakow studio krakow.